Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 4. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES [1000 - 3599]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

CHAPTER 11.5. Public Employee Communication [3555 - 3559]
  ( Chapter 11.5 added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 21, Sec. 2. )

3555.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that the ability of an exclusive representative to communicate with the public employees it represents is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of state labor relations statutes, and the exclusive representative cannot properly discharge its legal obligations unless it is able to meaningfully communicate through cost-effective and efficient means with the public employees on whose behalf it acts. In most cases, that communication includes an opportunity to discuss the rights and obligations created by the contract and the role of the representative, and to answer questions. That communication is necessary for harmonious public employment relations and is a matter of statewide concern. Therefore, it is the Legislature’s intent that recognized exclusive representatives of California’s public employees be provided meaningful access to their represented members as described in this chapter unless expressly prohibited by law.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 21, Sec. 2. (AB 119) Effective June 27, 2017.)

3555.5.
  

(a) This chapter applies to public employers subject to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500), Chapter 10.3 (commencing with Section 3512), Chapter 10.4 (commencing with Section 3524.50), Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540), or Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 3560) of, or Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 71600) or Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 71800) of Title 8 of, this code, or Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 99560) of Part 11 of Division 10 of the Public Utilities Code. This chapter, except for subdivision (c), also applies to public transit districts with respect to their public employees who are in bargaining units not subject to the provisions listed in this subdivision.

(b) For purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Exclusive representative” means the exclusive representative or recognized employee organization for the bargaining unit.

(2) “Interest arbitration” means a process whereby an employer and an exclusive representative submit a dispute concerning the terms of access to new employee orientations for resolution to a third-party arbitrator who is then authorized to approve either party’s proposal in its entirety, to approve a proposal using both the employer’s and exclusive representative’s final proposals, or to modify the proposals by the parties.

(3) “New employee orientation” means the onboarding process of a newly hired public employee, whether in person, online, or through other means or mediums, in which employees are advised of their employment status, rights, benefits, duties and responsibilities, or any other employment-related matters.

(4) “Newly hired public employee” means any employee, whether permanent, temporary, full time, part time, or seasonal, hired by a public employer, to which this chapter applies and who is still employed as of the date of the new employee orientation.

(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Public Employment Relations Board shall have jurisdiction over violations of this chapter. The powers and duties of the board described in Section 3541.3 shall apply, as appropriate, to this chapter.

(2) The employee relations commissions established by the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles shall have jurisdiction over violations of this chapter in the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles, respectively.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 53, Sec. 15. (SB 866) Effective June 27, 2018.)

3556.
  

Each public employer described in subdivision (a) of Section 3555.5 shall provide the exclusive representative mandatory access to its new employee orientations. The exclusive representative shall receive not less than 10 days’ notice in advance of an orientation, except that a shorter notice may be provided in a specific instance where there is an urgent need critical to the employer’s operations that was not reasonably foreseeable. The structure, time, and manner of exclusive representative access shall be determined through mutual agreement between the employer and the exclusive representative, subject to the requirements of Section 3557. The date, time, and place of the orientation shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the employees, the exclusive representative, or a vendor that is contracted to provide a service for purposes of the orientation.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 53, Sec. 16. (SB 866) Effective June 27, 2018.)

3557.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (g), upon request of the employer or the exclusive representative, the parties shall negotiate regarding the structure, time, and manner of the access of the exclusive representative to a new employee orientation. The failure to reach agreement on the structure, time, and manner of the access shall be subject to compulsory interest arbitration pursuant to this section.

(b) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), when negotiating access to a new employee orientation, if any dispute has not been resolved within 45 days after the first meeting of the parties, or within 60 days after the initial request to negotiate, whichever comes first, either party may make a demand for compulsory interest arbitration, and if a demand is made, the procedure prescribed by this subdivision shall apply. The arbitrator selection process described in paragraph (2) shall commence within 14 days of a party’s demand for compulsory interest arbitration. The party demanding compulsory interest arbitration shall be responsible for requesting a panel of arbitrators from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service. A party shall not submit any proposal to compulsory interest arbitration that was not the parties’ final proposal during the parties’ negotiations. In the case of a school district employer whose administrative offices are closed during the summer, the timeline on this subdivision shall commence on the first day that the district administrative office reopens.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the parties may mutually agree to submit their dispute to compulsory interest arbitration at any time.

(2) The appointment of an arbitrator for compulsory interest arbitration shall be made by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service using its process to obtain a panel of arbitrators, except as provided in paragraph (4). Within seven days of receipt of a request for a panel, the State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall send the parties a list of seven arbitrators selected from its roster. Within seven days following the receipt of the list, the parties shall make their selection. Unless the parties agree on an alternate selection procedure, they shall alternatively strike one name from the list provided by the service until only one name remains. A coin toss shall determine which party shall strike the first name. In lieu of this process, the parties may mutually select any individual to serve as the arbitrator. Any party that fails to participate in the selection of an arbitrator within the prescribed period waives its right to strike names from the list. Interest arbitration shall commence either on the arbitrator’s earliest available date or any other date to which the parties agree, and shall be completed within 30 days. The decision of the arbitrator shall be issued within 10 days and shall be final and binding on the parties. The decision shall provide the exclusive representative with reasonable access to new employee orientations. The arbitrator shall consider, weigh, and be guided by the following criteria:

(A) The ability of the exclusive representative to communicate with the public employees it represents.

(B) The legal obligations of the exclusive representative to the public employees.

(C) State, federal, and local laws that are applicable to the employer.

(D) Stipulations of the parties.

(E) The interests and welfare of the public and the financial condition of the public agency.

(F) The structure, time, and manner of access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation in comparable public agencies, including the access provisions in other memoranda of understanding or collective bargaining agreements containing those provisions.

(G) The Legislature’s findings and declarations under Section 3555.

(H) Any other facts that are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in establishing the structure, time, and manner of access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation.

(3) The parties shall equally share all costs of arbitration.

(4) If a city or county objects to the procedure for appointment of an arbitrator pursuant to paragraph (2), that city or county, within five days of a demand for arbitration by the exclusive representative, may request that the Public Employment Relations Board appoint a PERB Administrative Law Judge or other PERB employee to serve as the arbitrator in lieu of an arbitrator appointed by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service. The city or county shall pay for the cost of that arbitrator. The board shall appoint the arbitrator within five days of receiving that request. The same procedures, criteria, and timeline for arbitrations set forth in paragraph (2) shall apply.

(c) During the period between the effective date of this section and the expiration of an existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement between the parties, a request to meet and confer pursuant to subdivision (a) shall reopen the existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement solely for the limited purpose of negotiating an agreement regarding access of the exclusive representative to new employee orientations. Either party may elect to negotiate a side letter or similar agreement in lieu of reopening the existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement. This section, however, does not abrogate existing agreements between public agencies and recognized employee organizations.

(d) This section does not prohibit agreements between a public employer and an exclusive representative that provide for new employee orientations that vary from the requirements of this chapter. If such an agreement is negotiated, the requirements of this chapter shall not apply to the extent that they are inconsistent with the agreement. In the absence of a mutual agreement regarding new employee orientations, all of the requirements of this chapter shall apply.

(e) A public employer identified in subdivision (a) of Section 3555.5 does not unlawfully support or favor an employee organization or encourage employees to join any organization in preference to another as prohibited by subdivision (d) of Section 3506.5, subdivision (d) of Section 3519, subdivision (d) of Section 3543.5, or subdivision (d) of Section 3571 of this code, or subdivision (d) of Section 99563.7 of the Public Utilities Code, or any other state law, by permitting a recognized employee organization or an exclusive representative the opportunity to present at new employee orientations as required by this section or consistent with a negotiated agreement pursuant to this section.

(f) This section is not intended to modify the scope of bargaining or representation under any applicable employer-employee relations statute.

(g) A provision in a memorandum of understanding reached pursuant to Section 3517.5, and in effect on the effective date of the act adding this section, regarding the access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation shall control for the duration of that agreement, and the rights and duties established by this section shall apply only upon expiration of the agreement. The provisions of Section 12301.24 of the Welfare and Institutions Code regarding the access of representatives of a recognized employee organization to an orientation shall control with respect to public employers and exclusive representatives who are governed by the provisions of that section.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 363, Sec. 3. (SB 112) Effective September 28, 2017.)

3558.
  

Subject to the exceptions provided here, the public employer shall provide the exclusive representative with the name, job title, department, work location, work, home, and personal cellular telephone numbers, personal email addresses on file with the employer, and home address of any newly hired employee within 30 days of the date of hire or by the first pay period of the month following hire, and the public employer shall also provide the exclusive representative with a list of that information for all employees in the bargaining unit at least every 120 days unless more frequent or more detailed lists are required by an agreement with the exclusive representative. The information identified in this section shall be provided to the exclusive representative regardless of whether the newly hired public employee was previously employed by the public employer. The information under this section shall be provided in a manner consistent with Section 6254.3 and in a manner consistent with Section 6207 for a participant in the address confidentiality program established pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7. The provision of information under this section shall be consistent with the employee privacy requirements described in County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Com. (2013) 56 Cal.4th 905. This section does not preclude a public employer and exclusive representative from agreeing to a different interval within which the public employer provides the exclusive representative with the name, job title, department, work location, work, home, and personal cellular telephone numbers, personal email addresses, and home address of any newly hired employee or member of the bargaining unit.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 21, Sec. 2. (AB 119) Effective June 27, 2017.)

3558.8.
  

(a) A public employer shall grant to public employees, upon request of the exclusive representative of that employee, reasonable leaves of absence without loss of compensation or other benefits for the purpose of enabling employees to serve as stewards or officers of the exclusive representative, or of any statewide or national employee organization with which the exclusive representative is affiliated. Leave may be granted on a full-time, part-time, periodic, or intermittent basis.

(b) Procedures for requesting and granting leave shall be determined by mutual agreement between the employer and exclusive representative. The exclusive representative or employee organization shall reimburse the public employer for all compensation paid to the employee on leave unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding. Reimbursement by the exclusive representative or employee organization shall be made on or before 30 days after receipt of the public employer’s certification of payment of compensation to the employee.

(c) At the conclusion or termination of leave granted under this section, the steward or representative shall have a right of reinstatement to the same position and work location held prior to the leave, or, if not feasible, a substantially similar position without loss of seniority, rank, or classification.

(d) The exclusive representative has no obligation to use leave under this section for an employee and may terminate that leave at any time, for any reason.

(e) Compensation during leave granted under this section shall include retirement fund contributions required of the public employer as an employer. The employee shall earn full service credit during the leave of absence and shall pay his or her member contributions unless the employer has agreed in a memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement to pay the contributions on the employee’s behalf.

(f) A public employer shall not be liable for an act or omission of, or an injury suffered by, an employee of the public employer if that act, omission, or injury occurs during the course and scope of the employee’s leave under this section to work for the exclusive representative or affiliated employee organization. If a public employer is held liable for such an act, omission, or injury, the exclusive representative or affiliated employee organization shall indemnify and hold harmless the public employer.

(g) The leave provided under this section shall be in addition to any leave to which public employees may be entitled by other laws or by a memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement.

(h) This section shall not serve to invalidate any provision of a memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date of this section. At the request of the exclusive representative, a memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement shall be reopened for negotiations to reach a mutual agreement concerning the grant of leave pursuant to this section.

(i) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Public employer” means, in addition to the entities described in subdivision (a) of Section 3555.5, both of the following:

(A) An employer subject to Chapter 10.4 (commencing with Section 3524.50).

(B) A public employer that employs public transit workers, the labor relations of which are regulated by provisions in the Public Utilities Code, and are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Board. Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 3555.5, the Public Employment Relations Board shall not have jurisdiction to enforce this section with respect to such public transit workers.

(2) “Steward” means any employee designated by the exclusive representative as a representative for unit employees, whether for the unit as a whole or at a particular site, department, or other division of the employer’s operations, regardless of whether the employee is referred to by the exclusive representative as a steward or by a different title.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 893, Sec. 1. (SB 1085) Effective January 1, 2019.)

3559.
  

The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 21, Sec. 2. (AB 119) Effective June 27, 2017.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV